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A new five-story boutique hotel proposed to be built at 298 S. Old Woodward at the corner of Brown in Birmingham received final site plan approval by the Birmingham Planning Board at their meeting on Wednesday, August 9.
The hotel, to be located on the site of the former Weir Manuel Snyder and Ranke realtor location, which became Drs. House Call, is currently vacant, as is another building. There is also a surface parking lot. Birmingham planner Jana Ecker said the applicants, Lorient Capital, the Aperium Group, TynanGroup, and Booth Hansen architects, propose a five-story building covering 25,000 square feet, with first floor retail, a hotel on the second, third and fourth floors, and residential on the fifth floor.
"All of the traffic and parking issues have been dealt with," Ecker told planning board members, noting that Fleis & Vanderbrink, the city's traffic consultant, had signed off on the plan. She also said that the advisory parking commission had recommended approval for the removal of eight parking spaces in front of the proposed hotel on S. Old Woodward in order to provide space for valet. While the the city commission will not have to approve the final site plan, they will need to approve the removal of the eight parking spaces, Ecker said, and that is scheduled to go before commissioners at their meeting on Monday, August 14.
The hotel is proposed to have two floors of underground parking, providing 56 onsite parking spaces. As the site is located in the city's parking assessment district, it is only required to provide 22 spots, for the proposed 17 residential units on the fifth floor. In addition, David Berman of Laurient Capital, owner and developer of the hotel, said that for high traffic events, they will be able to stack the cars which will allow them to put up to 88 cars in the underground parking.
Access for vehicles will be in on Brown Street, and out on S. Old Woodward. There will be two pedestrian entrances, one each on Brown and Old Woodward. There is also a via in the rear area, with substantial lighting and a proposed wine bar which would be accessible as well through the hotel.
Ecker said the building is proposed to be built with a dark gray granite elevation and limestone cladding on the first four floors. A dark bronze canopy is proposed for the Old Woodward entrance.
"There are substantial green roof sections in this plan," she said.
The hotel is designed with first floor retail, a restaurant, banquet facilities, and an area for a salon. The three floors of hotel space are proposed to have 143 hotel rooms....continued on page 2